Arc Inspirations have had an impressive streak of success over the past few years, opening a plethora of new bars across the north of England. They really struck gold with Manahatta, which is fast becoming their signature brand. We dropped into Harrogate recently to see how their fifth NYC-inspired bar went down in the trendy spa town.
Located on The Ginnel in the heart of the city centre, Manahatta Harrogate is in a prime nightlife spot and certainly puts former residents The Pit to shame looks wise. The dashing black and gold interiors are enhanced with pendant light fixtures, neon signage and electric blue leather booths. It’s a space that puts you in the mood for a cocktail or three.
We enjoyed a round of Espresso Martinis as we checked out the menu, which look and taste damn fine considering they are draught pulled. Much like the Leeds venues, the menu is largely made up of cholesterol-defying treats designed to get your mouth watering.
We began with a trio of tasty starters that included the rather lovely Cheesy Dough Balls with Mexican garlic butter and the Broadway King Prawns. Coated in a crisp red crumb and served with a seaweed salad and sweet chilli dip, these Japanese torpedo prawns have got just the right amount of crunch.
For me, however, the best of the new starters has to be the Crispy Calamari Melts. Offering a unique twist on a much-loved classic, these surprisingly light and fluffy calamari balls are a real treat when squeezed with lime and dipped in garlic mayo.
For mains, I resisted the temptation of yet another burger in favour of the equally indulgent Manahatta Chicken. I don’t care that I may be mocked for having an unrefined pallet, but I’m a sucker when it comes to fried chicken and this is a great example of this fine dish.
The crumb coating packs enough spice to give the Colonel a run for his money and the skin on fries and BBQ sauce on the side just complete it. Across the table, the Cajun Chicken Fajitas were going down a storm. Accompanied with classic guacamole, sour cream and tomato salsa and served on a sizzling hot skillet, this bad boy of a dish has just the right balance of flavour and spice.
We finished up with a liquid dessert consisting of the exotic Sailor’s Punch cocktail before leaving on a promise to return for the legendary Manahatta brunch. A welcome addition to Harrogate and a bar worth checking out whether you’re after a few drinks or an unashamedly calorific dinner date.
Manahatta Harrogate, The Ginnel, HG1 2RB. Tel: 01423 565668.